Chapter 2028 - Youlan's Proposal

Shi Feng's words snapped Cleansed Rue and her entourage out of their daze.

"Right! Thank you for finding time to meet with us in your busy schedule, Guild Leader Black Flame! I am Cleansed Rue, the Hundred Flowers Palace's Vice Guild Leader. I am here to represent my Guild in our request for cooperation with Zero Wing," Cleansed Rue explained after regaining her senses.

"To think that even the Dark Night Empire's famous Frostflame Goddess has come to visit me, it would seem that you have an extraordinary request. Can I trouble you to elaborate? It will allow me to make a more sound decision," Shi Feng calmly asked as he watched Cleansed Rue's tense expression.

"Certainly." Cleansed Rue nodded. She then explained why the Hundred Flowers Palace wanted to develop in the Twin Towers Kingdom without withholding any details.

Before they had arrived at Zero Wing's Residence, the Guild upper echelons accompanying Cleanse Rue had disagreed with revealing their situation to Zero Wing. However, their discontentment had vanished after witnessing Zero Wing's Residence.

Meanwhile, Shi Feng hadn't spoken a single word throughout Cleansed Rue's explanation, and this made the Hundred Flowers Palace's upper echelons nervous.

Zero Wing was far stronger than they had imagined. They had assumed that Zero Wing had only allied with the Assassin's Alliance because it lacked the manpower to develop in the Twin Towers Kingdom personally, but after witnessing the Guild's Residence, they realized that Zero Wing was fully capable of securing a foothold in the kingdom without any assistance. It did not need anyone's help to exploit the Twin Towers Kingdom's resources.

"While your proposal is interesting, please allow me to reject it," Shi Feng said, shaking his head.

"Why? If you help us contest with the other first-rate Guilds in the kingdom, we can quickly secure the kingdom's central region. We'll be able to provide Zero Wing with even more resources than the Assassin's Alliance!" Cleansed Rue impulsively retorted as she stared at Shi Feng's impassive expression.

"As you have seen, Zero Wing previously lacked the strength to lay claim to the Twin Towers Kingdom's territories, but my Guild has grown. With how rapidly Zero Wing has been developing lately, we'll need to expand our territories. Zero Wing no longer faces a lack of resources," Shi Feng said as he gestured to Silent Blade and the others. "If we hand over the Twin Towers Kingdom's territories to the Hundred Flowers Palace, the kingdom won't have much left for us. It's not that I don't want to help you, but for the sake of my own Guild's development, I can't afford to help."

Cleansed Rue fell silent for quite some time.

She simply could not think of a rebuttal. Shi Feng's decision was reasonable. As a Guild Leader, his priority would forever be the Guild's benefit. How could he possibly give up a good expansion opportunity to help another Guild? Now that Zero Wing had defeated the almighty Starlight Alliance and stabilized its rule in the Witch's Hill, this was the perfect opportunity for the Guild to expand its influence.


If she were in his place, she'd likely choose her own Guild's development over helping another, as well.

The other Hundred Flowers Palace despaired upon hearing Shi Feng's decision.

"What should we do now?" one of the Hundred Flowers Palace's upper echelons muttered in the team chat.

Currently, the Hundred Flowers Palace had already begun to prepare for its migration from the Dark Night Empire, yet they had just been told that their two best options were no longer available. With how weak the Hundred Flowers Palace had become, contesting for kingdoms under other first-rate Guilds' rule would be nigh-impossible.

As Cleansed Rue and her companions began to panic, Youlan, who stood near the group, stepped forward with a smile.

"Guild Leader, I have a proposal that will benefit both our Guild and the Hundred Flowers Palace. May I speak up?" Youlan asked respectfully.

"A proposal that will benefit both Guilds? Let's hear it, then. After all, the Hundred Flowers Palace has taken the initiative to seek our help. We can't disappoint the Palace too much," Shi Feng said and nodded after giving the matter some thought.

"Understood!" Youlan then straightened herself and continued, "The Hundred Flowers Palace is struggling due to the fact that it doesn't have enough territory to sustain itself. This is all because of Starlink's interference, hampering the Palace's continued survival in the Dark Night Empire. But what if the Palace could defend itself against Starlink? If that were possible, couldn't the Palace remain in the Dark Night Empire?

"However, trying to stand against a superpower like Starlink isn't an easy task. Even if our Guild sends an army to assist, we're not likely to accomplish anything. We'll need sufficient support from the Hundred Flowers Palace itself."

"Support?" Upon hearing Youlan's words, Cleansed Rue's eyes began to glow as she hurriedly interjected, "If such an operation requires funds or manpower, that won't be an issue! If you can help defend our position, the Hundred Flowers Palace will supply Zero Wing with plenty of the empire's resources!"

She had gained a certain level of understanding of Zero Wing's strength. If Zero Wing were willing to help the Hundred Flowers Palace on a large scale, the Palace should have no problem defending over half of its territories in the empire.

"Although I have offered this proposal, the risk of openly opposing a thriving superpower is incredibly high. Moreover, this war will definitely be a protracted one. Zero Wing will also have to keep an eye out for multiple enemy superpowers. This is no longer a problem that can be solved with funds and resources. If the situation is not handled properly, Zero Wing could suffer on all fronts. I don't believe that anyone wants to see that outcome," Youlan said, shaking her head as she glanced at Cleansed Rue.

"Is there no better way to help them?" Shi Feng asked, pretending to sigh in disappointment. However, he was quite satisfied with Youlan's performance.

"There is! Our two Guilds can form a mutually dependent relationship! If Zero Wing has management rights to the Palace's Shops and Lands, and we can become close allies, Zero Wing can develop in the Dark Night Empire and amass enough strength to contend with Starlink. It wouldn't affect our strength in our other territories, satisfying our Guild with the alliance," Youlan said after giving the matter some thought.

"This..." Cleansed Rue couldn't help but hesitate. Shops were a part of a Guild's foundation, but with the Hundred Flowers Palace's current state, they couldn't afford more of a delay. Gritting her teeth, she turned to Youlan and asked, "How many Shops will Zero Wing require?"

"If we want to amass enough strength to survive in the Dark Night Empire, we'll need around 60% of the Hundred Flowers Palace's Shops," Youlan replied seriously.

"Sixty?! Isn't this a little...." Cleansed Rue's eyes widened in shock, and she broke out in a cold sweat.

The majority of the Hundred Flowers Palace's funds and resources originated from the Guild's Shops. If the Guild suddenly lost 60% of these Shops, it would definitely impact the Guild's operations.

"Youlan, the Hundred Flowers Palace could become one of Zero Wing's close allies in the future. Is there no way to reduce the cost a little?" Shi Feng asked, playing along.

"Since you insist, then...50%. Any less, and we'd have to dig into the funds and resources from our other territories. We'd be at a disadvantage against the superpowers in those areas," Youlan said with a troubled expression.

"That's the gist of the situation. What is your opinion on this matter, Vice Guild Leader Rue?" Shi Feng asked softly, turning to Cleansed Rue.

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